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Man On The Land

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Man On The Land


Published 1951
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Animated story of man's conquest of the soil through the ages with background of narration and ballads. Starts with prehistoric times and ends in the present, showing how oil-powered machines have banished the threat of famine.


Run time 15:00
Sponsor American Petroleum Institute
Audio/Visual sound, color

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Reviews

Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 26, 2003
Subject: This land is your laaaaaaand
Another one in the subgenre of movies which intersperse folk music with the Message Thay They Are Trying To Say. (These usually deal with The Land). This generally is a well animated salute to Man and how he was able to produce tools and eventually machinery to with human progress. Often sometimes too oversimplified to my tastes, it nevertheless has nice animation, and great characters (the "cynic" character was great) to make the time pass by nicely.
Reviewer: K.P. Lee - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 21, 2003
Subject: Agri-Business teaches a history lesson
The story of the development of agriculture, farming, and civilization is an important story to tell. So important in fact, that the Oil Industry Information Committee of the American Petroleum Institute had to make this film.

"Man on the Land," produced in 1951 by United Productions of America, is a 15-minute animated film that appears to be targeted to grade school children. Within the cute drawings and sung ballades (which truly distinguish this film) is a pro-technology and pro-progress ideology. Those who question technological advances in weaponry and technology are labeled "scoffers."

Within this context, the intensive use of chemicals in industrialized agriculture is seen as a natural development in history. "Man on the Land" in fact presents the point of view that indusrialization of agriculture is part of freedom and the American way of life. Those who oppose industrialized agribusiness are merely backward scoffers.

The vision shown in this film has become an entrenched reality; American agriculture is very dependent upon intensive use of petroleum and chemicals. There are quite a few "scoffers" (people concerned about poisons in the air, land and water and other people concerned about the wisdom of having a few large corporations control our food supply). Many of the arguments that large corporations use today to counter these "scoffers" are pretty much the same arguments expressed in this film.

Today, we have a corporate P.R. machine which conflates the corporate good with the national good. This corporate P.R. machine has worked its way into schools (with school children given lessons about Oreos and Nikes). We can see in this film that in fact this is part of a trend that has been around for decades.
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